Cultivated Pastures

Cultivated Pastures


highly productive forage lands used to graze livestock. They are created by improving the surface of natural forage lands or old unproductive grasslands and by sowing grass mixtures on newly reclaimed lands. A distinction is made between short-term (five to six years) and long-term (seven to ten or more years) use of cultivated pastures. Cultivated pastures were started at the end of the 19th century chiefly in countries with developed livestock raising, such as the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden. It was not until the 1930’s that they were created in the USSR.

The quickest and cheapest way to create cultivated pastures, especially in regions of adequate moisture, is to improve the surface of natural forage lands. This is done by destroying grassy hillocks, molehills, and shrubs, removing stones, controlling the water regime, and leveling and liming the surface. Meadow-pasture leguminous and gramineous grasses are undersown on plots with very sparse, worthless grass stands. Before the grasses are undersown, the sod is disked with heavy disk harrows. After the undersowing, the soil is packed by rollers and rotted manure or mineral fertilizers are placed on the surface. These actions guarantee the transformation of naturally unproductive grass stands into highly productive ones in three to five years. For example, in transforming old clover fields that have been used for three or four years, phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are added systematically and organic fertilizers periodically. To create the desired grass stand more quickly, 2–3 kg per hectare (ha) of white, alsike, or red clover is undersown in the spring.

In creating cultivated pastures by sowing grass mixtures, it is best to use waterlogged peat and shallow soddy-calcareous soils if the pastures are intended for short-term use and more fertile soils if the pastures are for long-term use. Before grass is sown on lands with excessive moisture, they are drained, freed from scrub and stones, and then plowed with a brush-marsh plow to a depth of 25–40 cm, followed by disking and packing. Plots with compact sod are rototilled and packed by a water-filled roller. Plots with sod no more than 18 cm thick are plowed with ordinary plows and then disked and harrowed. Organic fertilizers are added before plowing and mineral fertilizers afterward. Grass mixtures are sown either immediately after the soil surface is leveled or after preliminary (two to four years) cultivation of grain, industrial, vegetable, and other crops.

The grass mixtures consist of leguminous and gramineous grasses sown at the rate of 25–35 kg per ha and 30–40 kg per ha for short-term and long-term pastures, respectively. They are sown under a cover of cereals or legumes and without a cover (rapid grassing). To create long-term cultivated pastures, grass mixtures are usually sown without a cover and early in the season. By fall the grasses are well developed and they form a typical pasture grass stand one to two years earlier than when a cover sowing is used.

Cultivated pastures require proper management, including mowing for the winter (if the grasses develop rapidly the first year), supplemental fertilization in early spring or fall, mowing down of inedible plants, dispersing of animal excrements, and irrigation in arid years. Rotation or alternate grazing is essential. The area of cultivated pasture per cow (for the entire grazing period) is 0.5–0.6 ha if the yield is 2,500–3,000 feed units and 0.25 ha if the yield is 6,000–8,000 feed units (with irrigation).


Toomre, R. I. Dolgoletnie kul’turnye pastbishcha. Moscow, 1966.
Ivanov, D. A. Kul’turnye pastbishcha. Leningrad, 1967.


References in periodicals archive ?
Conversion of large areas of natural rangeland to cultivated pastures in the southern Cape region of South Africa is driven by the demand for sustainable fodder production within dairy farm systems (Botha 2003).
It can therefore be reasoned that the ecosystem quality and functionality were improved by enhancing organic matter indicators at the soil surface when soil is converted to cultivated pastures.
Miles N, Manson AD (2000) Nutrition of cultivated pastures.
The potential of cultivated rangeland was recently highlighted to a group of regional leaders when Agra Professional Services, with a sponsorship from the Millennium Challenge Account--Namibia, conducted a two-day workshop to show the benefits of cultivated pastures.
The workshop concluded with a visit to inspect dry-land cultivated pastures in the Grootfontein district, on the farm Blystroom of Mr.
The practice of using dry-land cultivated pastures to produce fodder, which is currently imported from South Africa at exorbitant prices, should be a priority in Namibia.
2004), that under the cultivated pastures with a long time, here 10 years of pastured system, even when they are in decline from a cattle production point of view, the soil termite community is reestablished.
Assessing the spatial distribution of cultivated pastures in the Brazilian savanna.
This study aimed to determine the number of epigeal nests and assess the soil turning capacity of termites in cultivated pasture environments and in a native vegetation area.
Beef farms in Brazil have mainly cultivated pastures represented by Brachiaria and Panicum species, and nutritional deficiency during the dry season is commonly observed.